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Planned or built in obsolescence can be style (fashion), functional, or technological.  It affects the product life cycle.

  • Planned:  A product becomes outdated as a conscious act either to ensure a continuing  market or to ensure that safety factors and new technologies can be incorporated into later versions of the product.
  • Style (fashion):  Fashions and trends change over time, which can result in a product no  longer being desirable. However, as evidenced by the concept of retro styling and the cyclic nature of fashion, products can become desirable again.
  • Functional:   Over  time,  products  wear  out  and  break  down.  If  parts  are  no  longer  available, the product can no longer work in the way it originally did. Also, if a service vital to its functioning is no longer available, it can become obsolete.
  • Technological:  When a new technology supersedes an existing technology, the existing  technology quickly falls out of use and is no longer incorporated into new products. Consumers instead opt for the newer, more efficient technology in their products.




The following article from TheVerge shows an interesting exercise in Planned and Technological obsolescence.


Now, Macs are notoriously hard to upgrade, and that’s by design. This I know well from simple cases like RAM upgrades. But I was not at all prepared for the massive undertaking the late 2014-era Mac mini requires of users. And simply to reach one of maybe only two parts an average computer owner may ever want to upgrade on their own. It involved painstakingly dismantling the entire machine piece by piece, using janky tools in place of the specialized ones I didn’t have. It was yet another much-needed reminder that Apple goes out of its way to make tinkering a herculean task.


More important advice: don’t buy a Mac without the components you think you’ll be comfortable with for at least two or three years. At least do so only with the understanding that any repairs or upgrades you decide to perform may be more than you originally bargained for. If there’s anything Apple is great at, it’s making consumer electronics that are as much painful brain teasers as they are objects of desire.


Read more @ TheVerge